The highly innovative Shed Distillery (founded in 2014) rides upon this new wave of Irish Craft distilleries, (Most new Irish distillers start off distilling Gin, which doesn’t require maturation, while they are waiting for their Whiskeys to mature).
The innovative and inquisitive PJ Rigney released the highly unique Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, in 2016. Crafted at The Shed Distillery with its medieval copper pot stills, this recipe fuses oriental botanicals with the local Irish ones. The result is quite harmonious.
“The result of this passionate exploration is Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin – unique, extraordinary and remarkable as the elusive creature PJ has occasionally glimpsed in the fields, the Drumshanbo Jackalope” (The Shed Distillery). The Gin has a fresh citrus taste and spicy notes of oriental botanicals.
Gunpowder Tea or zhu chá, translated literally as "pearl tea,” is a type of green tea that has been slowly dried. These delicate leaves are then carefully rolled into shiny pellets.
The flavor is bold and bright with a slight spicy freshness. The Chinese green tea gets its English name from its semblance to gunpowder. Gunpowder tea production dates as far back as the Tang Dynasty (618–907).
The Shed is a new distillery in County Leitrim, in the tiny rural village of Drumshanbo. It is the first new distillery in rural Connacht in over 100 years. Like most Irish distilleries born into this resurgence of Irish Whiskey, The Shed currently produces Gins, while they wait for their Whiskey to mature.
This new project is the brainchild of P.J. Rigney — the man behind the tremendous Boru Vodka and Sheridans liqueur success stories — and pioneer in the scenic Irish village, his efforts in experimental distilling bringing the small rural town into the 21st century of distilling.
On the 21st of December, 2014 — a winter solstice — the tiny rural village of Drumshanbo witnessed the re-birth of Irish distilling, with the birth of the rustic new handcraft distillery. “The Shed” marks a return to traditional distillation using medieval copper stills, and is the first multi-purpose distillery of its kind in Ireland.
While patiently awaiting their resting Whiskeys, they do offer a rather innovative Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin made with Asian botanicals and gunpowder tea, as well as other experimental recipes for Herbaceous Gins, Potato Vodkas and new liqueurs, including a distinctive Blackforest Gateau liqueur called “My Three Graces.”
We set up the Shed Distillery in the Solstice, the 21st of December 2014, here in Drumshanbo, the Shed. The reason was to create a business that could develop some very interesting Whiskeys, Liqueurs, Gins to sell on at the global market.
What makes the Shed Distillery special is that everything we do here at the Shed in terms of the manufacture or the creation is done with medieval copper pots still. Everything is done by hand. We're using old traditional recipes. We're also using many ingredients from the local area, and then we're taking them across the world.
What's great about this is we're actually working with the local community, bringing traditional skills back to Ireland that we're lost, and we'll have another celebration here on the 21st of December 2015 to celebrate the second Solstice, which is basically our first Gin production.
Being in Drumshanbo and being in Leitrim, it's a very interesting, unique, wild rural environment, and that's certainly something that our customers are very interested in the world today.